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Blue Monday: why this day is called the most depressing of the year, and scientists talk about a "marketing trick"

The most depressing day of the year falls on January 15

Feeling sad and out of sorts? It's all down to Blue Monday, the most unlucky day of the year, which falls on the third Monday of January. This date was calculated in 2005 by British psychologist Cliff Arnall using a special mathematical formula. But scientists tend to consider Blue Monday to be just a pseudo-science and a marketing ploy.

In 2005, this term was first mentioned during the promotional activities of a British travel company to encourage people to buy tours and "escape" from the winter bustle, The Sun writes. This year's Blue Monday fell on January 15, but don't be afraid of this day, because everything is not as bad as it seems.

Blue Monday: why this day is called the most depressing of the year, and scientists talk about a ''marketing trick''

Scientists believe that the idea of the most depressing month of the year is nonsense. After all, this day is no worse than any other, and the weather, on which Blue Monday depends, may not always be cloudy and ugly. Dr. Shari McDade, head of the Mental Health Foundation for Poverty and Financial Hardship in the UK, told The Sun that no scientific studies have ever confirmed this theory.

"Good" and "bad" days for mental health are unique to each of us. This includes adequate sleep/rest, exercise, good nutrition, and being kind to yourself and others," McDade explained.

Blue Monday: why this day is called the most depressing of the year, and scientists talk about a ''marketing trick''

The decision to call the third Monday of January unlucky was based on a formula that takes into account the number of post-New Year's debts, weather, low motivation, monthly salary, and some other factors.

It looks like this: [W + (Dd)] x TQ M x NA, where

  • W - weather (mostly cloudy);
  • D is the amount of debts after the winter holidays;
  • d - monthly salary;
  • T is the number of days since Christmas (December 25);
  • Q - unsuccessful attempts to get rid of bad habits;
  • M - low level of motivation;
  • NA - strength to be used to fight the winter blues.

It is not known why psychologist Cliff Arnall chose these values for his formula, and it is impossible to verify the formula, because the values will be different for each person.

Adherence to the idea of "Blue Monday" can lead to people feeling depressed on this day because they feel they should be depressed. After all, the power of suggestion can be quite strong, Forbes writes.

Blue Monday: why this day is called the most depressing of the year, and scientists talk about a ''marketing trick''

In fact, in January, a considerable number of people feel depressed because of the short sunshine that lasts from November to February. Less sun exposure affects the production of melatonin, which is responsible for mood, energy, and sleep patterns.

In particular, Cliff Arnall also identified the happiest day of the year, which he calculated using a special formula based on social interaction, time outdoors, childhood memories, air temperature, and anticipation of the weekend. It is the third Friday of June. In 2024, it should be June 21, but we shouldn't forget that such calculations have not been confirmed by scientists, so we should treat them with caution.

Blue Monday: why this day is called the most depressing of the year, and scientists talk about a ''marketing trick''

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